What one sees emerge in Class 10 students through the year is a clarity of thinking and an increasing ability to form judgements. Essentially the students are leaving behind the chaotic forces of sympathy and antipathy so present in Class 9, and are able to understand the world through their own activity. They gain the ability to compare and find similarities where once they saw only differences. They can achieve objectivity, come to logical conclusions and understand natural laws using analytical thinking.
The curriculum then must bring experiences of balance and order, of the laws of nature, physics and mathematics, reflecting their inner experience of being more secure and harmonious. They need opportunities to find themselves, to develop their individual personalities, to understand how they are in the world and how the world is in them, all through their own activity. The Class 10 students want facts and basic principles to which they can apply their thinking and understand the complexity of the world around them. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their own work and behaviour.
In Ancient history, the archaeological record can be examined and real questions asked about what it tells us about the development of humanity. In geography, they can undertake a study of the whole earth, and gain insight into the living qualities of the earth. In chemistry the curriculum shifts from organic to inorganic chemistry with a study of acids and bases and the extraordinary way in which these polarities come together in balanced substances.
The expanding awareness and consciousness for the earth as a whole by a class ten pupil is reflected in the historical times when mankind developed the sextant and chronometer. Together with trigonometry and celestial navigation, sailors could now accurately plot their position accurately at sea. This forms part of the physics main lesson.
The theodolite was developed so that mankind could accurately map the earth’s land surface and so, trigonometry is studied theoretically, and then applied very concretely to surveying and map-making. A suitable site is triangulated and the angles of each triangle are measured with a theodolite. Small and detailed maps are then measured and drawn using an alidade and plane table and then all the data is used to draw an artistically beautiful map. The whole experience is also a wonderful lesson in developing and working harmoniously with other human beings.
Each main lesson presented has qualities of balance, analysis and using thinking to come to understanding. The quality of balance is also consciously brought through the mathematics, language and art, craft, drama and movement daily and weekly lessons.
In addition Class 10 students are offered experiences that look towards helping the individual find his or her place in the world as an individual. The “threshold experience” is about working in the class group to identify and unblock barriers to going forward in the world. The work experience is quite literally an experience of the working world.